Waltham Cross trader and his lights

Hertfordshire Mercury, 20th November 1915


At Cheshunt Petty Sessions on Wednesday, Charles Cooper, of 181 High Street, Waltham Cross, was summoned under the Defence of the Realm Act, for failing to reduce the intensity of certain lights in his shop on November 5, at Waltham Cross.

The defendant pleaded guilty.  PS Oliver said that at 8.30 p.m. on November 5 he was with PC Wright in High Street, Waltham Cross, and in the defendant’s shop they saw an incandescent gas light burning at the window end of the counter.  The light had a frosted globe over it, but no other shade.  A strong light was thrown into the roadway and on to a house opposite. The defendant: ‘Is it not a fact that there are other shops with much brighter lights than at my place?’  ‘No, there are not.’  The defendant said that since the lighting restrictions had come in he had done his level best to comply with the requests of the police as far as he had been able to understand them.  The orders had been very confusing.  First they were told they could have lights if no rays were thrown, and then they were informed that they must have no lights at all.  On the night in question there was a ray showing through the window  where a shirt had been taken down.  He considered he was being penalized in being brought there.  Only the previous evening he saw a dozen shops which had more lights than his.  After private deliberation the Chairman said the Bench had very carefully considered this matter, and knowing the seriousness of the offence they had decided that the fine should be three guineas or 28 days.

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